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Plasma Interactions on Organosilicate Glass Dielectric Films and Emerging Amorphous Materials- Approach to Pore Sealing and Chemical Modifications

Description: In-situ x-ray photoemission (XPS) and ex-situ FTIR studies of nanoporous organosilicate glass (OSG) films point to the separate roles of radicals vs. VUV photons in the carbon abstraction. The studies indicate that reaction with O2 in presence of VUV photons (~123 nm) result in significant carbon abstraction within the bulk and that the kinetics of this process is diffusion-limited. In contrast, OSG exposed to atomic O (no VUV) results in Si-C bond scission and Si-O bond formation, but this process is self-limiting after formation of ~1 nm thick SiO2 surface layer that inhibits further diffusion. Therefore, the diffusion-dominated kinetics of carbon abstraction observed for OSG exposed to O2 plasma is definitively attributed to the diffusion of O2 down OSG nanopores, reacting at photo-activated sites, rather than to the diffusion of atomic O. Pretreatment of OSG by 900 eV Ar+ ion bombardment also results in formation of 1 nm thick SiO2-like surface overlayer that inhibits O2 diffusion, inhibiting VUV+O2 and O2 plasma-induced reactions, and that the effectiveness of this treatment increases with ion kinetic energy. On the contrary, organosilicate glass (OSG) films with backbone carbon (-Si-R-Si-) exhibit significantly enhanced resistance to carbon loss upon exposure to O2 plasma, radicals and VUV+O2 compared to films with terminal methyl groups (Si-CH3). Films incorporating backbone carbon chains (-Si-R-Si-) were deposited from 1,2 bis (triethoxysilyl) ethane (BTESE) precursor by ebeam or plasma cross-linking. The radical effects on BTESE film indicates negligible carbon loss or Si oxidation, combined with C-O bond formation, under conditions where OSG films with terminal methyl groups exhibit > 80% carbon loss within the surface region of the film. C-O bond formation is never observed for terminal CH3 groups. Further, backbone carbon (-Si-R-Si-) films exposed to VUV+O2 exhibit self-limiting, minimal net carbon loss. This indicates that plasma-induced Si-C bond rupture still occurs ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Kazi, Haseeb

Combinatorial Assessment of the Influence of Composition and Exposure Time on the Oxidation Behavior and Concurrent Oxygen-induced Phase Transformations of Binary Ti-x Systems

Description: The relatively low oxidation resistance and subsequent surface embrittlement have often limited the use of titanium alloys in elevated temperature structural applications. Although extensive effort is spent to investigate the high temperature oxidation performance of titanium alloys, the studies are often constrained to complex technical titanium alloys and neither the mechanisms associated with evolution of the oxide scale nor the effect of oxygen ingress on the microstructure of the base metal are well-understood. In addition lack of systematic oxidation studies across a wider domain of the alloy composition has complicated the determination of composition-mechanism-property relationships. Clearly, it would be ideal to assess the influence of composition and exposure time on the oxidation resistance, independent of experimental variabilities regarding time, temperature and atmosphere as the potential source of error. Such studies might also provide a series of metrics (e.g., hardness, scale, etc) that could be interpreted together and related to the alloy composition. In this thesis a novel combinatorial approach was adopted whereby a series of compositionally graded specimens, (Ti-xMo, Ti-xCr, Ti-xAl and Ti-xW) were prepared using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS™) technology and exposed to still-air at 650 °C. A suite of the state-of-the-art characterization techniques were employed to assess several aspects of the oxidation reaction as a function of local average composition including: the operating oxidation mechanisms; the structure and composition of the oxides; the oxide adherence and porosity; the thickness of the oxide layers; the depth of oxygen ingress; and microstructural evolution of the base material just below the surface but within the oxygen-enriched region. The results showed that for the Ti-Mo, Ti-Al and Ti-W systems a parabolic oxidation rate law is obeyed in the studied composition-time domain while Ti-Cr system experiences a rapid breakaway oxidation regime at low solute concentrations. The only titanium oxide phase present in ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Samimi, Peyman

Atomistic Simulations of Deformation Mechanisms in Ultra-Light Weight Mg-Li Alloys

Description: Mg alloys have spurred a renewed academic and industrial interest because of their ultra-light-weight and high specific strength properties. Hexagonal close packed Mg has low deformability and a high plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems at room temperature. Alloying with Li and other elements is believed to counter this deficiency by activating non-basal slip by reducing their nucleation stress. In this work I study how Li addition affects deformation mechanisms in Mg using atomistic simulations. In the first part, I create a reliable and transferable concentration dependent embedded atom method (CD-EAM) potential for my molecular dynamics study of deformation. This potential describes the Mg-Li phase diagram, which accurately describes the phase stability as a function of Li concentration and temperature. Also, it reproduces the heat of mixing, lattice parameters, and bulk moduli of the alloy as a function of Li concentration. Most importantly, our CD-EAM potential reproduces the variation of stacking fault energy for basal, prismatic, and pyramidal slip systems that influences the deformation mechanisms as a function of Li concentration. This success of CD-EAM Mg-Li potential in reproducing different properties, as compared to literature data, shows its reliability and transferability. Next, I use this newly created potential to study the effect of Li addition on deformation mechanisms in Mg-Li nanocrystalline (NC) alloys. Mg-Li NC alloys show basal slip, pyramidal type-I slip, tension twinning, and two-compression twinning deformation modes. Li addition reduces the plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems by modifying the energetics of Mg-Li alloys. This causes the solid solution softening. The inverse relationship between strength and ductility therefore suggests a concomitant increase in alloy ductility. A comparison of the NC results with single crystal deformation results helps to understand the qualitative and quantitative effect of Li addition in Mg on nucleation stress and fault ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Karewar, Shivraj

Precession Electron Diffraction Assisted Characterization of Deformation in α and α+β Titanium Alloys

Description: Ultra-fine grained materials with sub-micrometer grain size exhibit superior mechanical properties when compared with conventional fine-grained material as well as coarse-grained materials. Severe plastic deformation (SPD) techniques have been shown to be an effective way to modify the microstructure in order to improve the mechanical properties of the material. Crystalline materials require dislocations to accommodate plastic strain gradients and maintain lattice continuity. The lattice curvature exists due to the net dislocation that left behind in material during deformation. The characterization of such defects is important to understand deformation accumulation and the resulting mechanical properties of such materials. However, traditional techniques are limited. For example, the spatial resolution of EBSD is insufficient to study materials processed via SPD, while high dislocation densities make interpretations difficult using conventional diffraction contrast techniques in the TEM. A new technique, precession electron diffraction (PED) has gained recognition in the TEM community to solve the local crystallography, including both phase and orientation, of nanocrystalline structures under quasi-kinematical conditions. With the assistant of precession electron diffraction coupled ASTARÔ, the structure evolution of equal channel angular pressing processed commercial pure titanium is studied; this technique is also extended to two-phase titanium alloy (Ti-5553) to investigate the existence of anisotropic deformation behavior of the constituent alpha and beta phases.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Liu, Yue

First Principles Study of Metastable Beta Titanium Alloys

Description: The high temperature BCC phase (b) of titanium undergoes a martensitic transformation to HCP phase (a) upon cooling, but can be stabilized at room temperature by alloying with BCC transition metals such as Mo. There exists a metastable composition range within which the alloyed b phase separates into a + b upon equilibrium cooling but not when rapidly quenched. Compositional partitioning of the stabilizing element in as-quenched b microstructure creates nanoscale precipitates of a new simple hexagonal w phase, which considerably reduces ductility. These phase transformation reactions have been extensively studied experimentally, yet several significant questions remain: (i) The mechanism by which the alloying element stabilizes the b phase, thwarts its transformation to w, and how these processes vary as a function of the concentration of the stabilizing element is unclear. (ii) What is the atomistic mechanism responsible for the non-Arrhenius, anomalous diffusion widely observed in experiments, and how does it extend to low temperatures? How does the concentration of the stabilizing elements alter this behavior? There are many other w forming alloys that such exhibit anomalous diffusion behavior. (iii) A lack of clarity remains on whether w can transform to a -phase in the crystal bulk or if it occurs only at high-energy regions such as grain boundaries. Furthermore, what is the nature of the a phase embryo? (iv) Although previous computational results discovered a new wa transformation mechanism in pure Ti with activation energy lower than the classical Silcock pathway, it is at odds with the a / b / w orientation relationship seen in experiments. First principles calculations based on density functional theory provide an accurate approach to study such nanoscale behavior with full atomistic resolution, allowing investigation of the complex structural and chemical effects inherent in the alloyed state. In the present work, a model Ti-Mo ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gupta, Niraj

Thin Films As a Platform for Understanding the Conversion Mechanism of FeF2 Cathodes in Lithium-Ion Microbatteries

Description: Conversion material electrodes such as FeF2 possess the potential to deliver transformative improvements in lithium ion battery performance because they permit a reversible change of more than one Li-ion per 3d metal cation. They outperform current state of the art intercalation cathodes such as LiCoO2, which have volumetric and gravimetric energy densities that are intrinsically limited by single electron transfer. Current studies focus on composite electrodes that are formed by mixing with carbon (FeF2-C), wherein the carbon is expected to act as a binder to support the matrix and facilitate electronic conduction. These binders complicate the understanding of the electrode-electrolyte interface (SEI) passivation layer growth, of Li agglomeration, of ion and electron transport, and of the basic phase transformation processes under electrochemical cycling. This research uses thin-films as a model platform for obtaining basic understanding to the structural and chemical foundations of the phase conversion processes. Thin film cathodes are free of the binders used in nanocomposite structures and may potentially provide direct basic insight to the evolution of the SEI passivation layer, electron and ion transport, and the electrochemical behavior of true complex phases. The present work consisted of three main tasks (1) Development of optimized processes to deposit FeF2 and LiPON thin-films with the required phase purity and microstructure; (2) Understanding their electron and ion transport properties and; (3) Obtaining insight to the correlation between structure and capacity in thin-film microbatteries with FeF2 thin-film cathode and LiPON thin-film solid electrolyte. Optimized pulsed laser deposition (PLD) growth produced polycrystalline FeF2 films with excellent phase purity and P42/mnm crystallographic symmetry. A schematic band diagram was deduced using a combination of UPS, XPS and UV-Vis spectroscopies. Room temperature Hall measurements reveal that as-deposited FeF2 is n-type with an electron mobility of 0.33 cm2/V.s and a resistivity was 0.255 Ω.cm. The LiPON ...
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Santos-Ortiz, Reinaldo

Deformation Micro-mechanisms of Simple and Complex Concentrated FCC Alloys

Description: The principal objective of this work was to elucidate the effect of microstructural features on the intrinsic dislocation mechanisms in two FCC alloys. First alloy Al0.1CoCrFeNi was from a new class of material known as complex concentrated alloys, particularly high entropy alloys (HEA). The second was a conventional Al-Mg-Sc alloy in ultrafine-grained (UFG) condition. In the case of HEA, the lattice possess significant lattice strain due to the atomic size variation and cohesive energy differences. Moreover, both the lattice friction stress and the Peierls barrier height are significantly larger than the conventional FCC metals and alloys. The experimental evidences, so far, provide a distinctive identity to the nature and motion of dislocations in FCC HEA as compared to the conventional FCC metals and alloys. Hence, the thermally activated dislocation mechanisms and kinetics in HEA has been studied in detail. To achieve the aim of examining the dislocation kinetics, transient tests, both strain rate jump tests and stress relaxation tests, were conducted. Anomalous behavior in dislocation kinetics was observed. Surprisingly, a large rate sensitivity of the flow stress and low activation volume of dislocations were observed, which are unparalleled as compared to conventional CG FCC metals and alloys. The observed trend has been explained in terms of the lattice distortion and dislocation energy framework. As opposed to the constant dislocation line energy and Peierls potential energy (amplitude, ΔE) in conventional metals and alloys, both line energy and Peierls potential undergo continuous variation in the case of HEA. These energy fluctuations have greatly affected the dislocation mobility and can be distinctly noted from the activation volume of dislocations. The proposed hypothesis was tested by varying the grain size and also the test temperature. Activation volume of dislocations was a strong function of temperature and increased with temperature. And the reduction in grain ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Komarasamy, Mageshwari